DareBot made me do it

Tim Malbon
Tim Malbon

We launched a DareBot a few weeks ago, and I decided to test it on myself.

DareBot is a 50/50 project and last night I reached the pledge amount of £400 for famine aid in East Africa, which meant I had to shave 1/2 my moustache off and go around like that for a day (today). I still have to pluck 30 moustache hairs out with tweezers to raise the additioanl £30 that @jeremyet has pledged (I have to post the audio for this on SoundCloud).

Part of the deal with DareBot is to post proof of the dare having been completed - on Instagram, Twitter etc,  so this post has a bit of that (as well as the 'proof of payment' screenshots). But I'll also explain how DareBot works and why it's based on some of the things we've learnt about, as well as how we might continue to develop it. 

So, last night I ambushed fellow dinner guests to try and get the outstanding amount. By shaving 1/2 my moustache off  'live-on-the-internet' at the end of the meal (apologies to hosts David-Michel Davies and Poke for shaving at the table...). 

I've gone come way past the £400 - getting on for £500 - so thank you very much to everyone who 'done a pledge'. Here's a list of those people - I shall be contacting them on Twitter but if you're one of them and reading this, please can you make your donation via the 5050.gd website (click the 'donate now') and take a screenshot of the confirmation page and send it to me so that I can tweet about it pour enourager les autres?

DareBot was developed by James Higgs (@higgis), and we've taken a VERY lean approach to this. At this stage, the barest and most minimal viable product exists at http://darebot.herokuapp.com. We decided at the outset that we wouldn't even bother developing it any further unless we see some evidence that it works - i.e. dares from 25 people or £1,000 in pledges. There are lots of other things we'd like to do.

The app was made as a result of what we've learnt to date - we wanted to make something for individuals, something that creates a personal project that someone can take responsibilty for: for taking it into the real world and getting commitments, and then for collecting the cash. By testing it myself I found some really simple ways to make it work better - I made a little sponsorship form in Word and printed it off, and then took it out to real world events like kids' parties. It's no surprise that we've managed to raise more than the money we set out to get in very little time.

Other enhancements were born from the interaction I had around the original dare - for example, the addition of embellishments or 'builds' on the original dare, such as Jeremy Ettinghausen's suggestion that I pluck hairs and record my pain... brilliant! 

Obviously, we'd like to build ways within the app for people to pledge instead of doing it over Twitter (which was fine for learning but probably won't be so effective in the long run). We'd like to give people public project pages, that other people can add to and follow, with totalisers and places to display the completed dare evidence (video, pics, sound clips). In time it would be cool to have a more powerful personal page and a page of the latest and most exciting.

In the mean time, enjoy the evidence below. I have set up a new dare - a swim in the lake in St James' Park, outside Buckingham Palace, that I'll do if I can raise £1,000. This one is even stupider and will probably lead to me being arrested or something. Might be quite funny though. 

The journey to work, and this whole day, have been a bit strange. I'm looking forward to evening things up later. 

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